We are an English-speaking community of approximately 250-300 people representing at least twenty different nations in the world on an average Sunday gathering, based in a city of one million people. As is true of most International Churches around the world, we are a transient group of what are sometimes called ‘global nomads’. Some are here expressly for missional purposes, others come to pursue opportunities in international business, diplomatic or development work. Some are international students; others are teachers at international schools. About 15% of our community is made up of local friends who, for a variety of reasons, choose to join us for English-speaking worship.
What is our purpose? Significant discussions over the past couple of years have led us to describe our identity and purpose in this way: “We are a culturally diverse, transient, multi-national community seeking together to discover what it means to be wholehearted followers of Jesus.”
How do we build community? Each Sunday morning, we gather for two (almost identical) worship services that include worship through music, prayers, giving, kids’ ministry and expository biblical preaching. Apart from these gatherings, we have a network of small groups into which we encourage and invite all regular attenders to participate. On some special evenings, we host worship nights with a focus on bringing people together for an extended period of worship and prayer. We seek to enrich family relationships by offering occasional seminars including, but not limited to, marriage enrichment, parenting and men’s courses. We also try to do several community building events each year, such as Scottish dancing, Fellowship (fun) days, and hikes in the nearby mountains.
How do we reach outside of ourselves? We seek to be the light of Jesus in this city in practical ways by coming alongside and supporting organizations that are doing excellent work among disadvantaged and needy people such as the homeless, the elderly, and the disabled. Our support of these organizations is both financial and practical; our policy is to choose to support organizations in which people from our fellowship are actively involved.
God has also given us a beautiful opportunity to work with international students from South Asia. Each school year, there are several thousands of these students studying medicine in various institutions in our city. On any given Sunday morning, 40-60 of these students attend our Sunday morning services. Some of them are active, mature followers of Jesus. Others, however, have very little knowledge of the story of Jesus. Each month, we host an International Student night to which we invite as many students as possible to a fun evening, including a meal, games and a short talk.
We are very grateful for the privilege of serving this active, diverse community – it is a life-giving opportunity!